Leszno Steam Haulage Axed

Is this the end of Wolsztyn as Europe’s
last working MPD?

Steaming to Leszno by Richard Gatward via TrekEarth
(Click on photo for bigger picture in its original context.
Click here for Richard’s amazing photo reportage of his
engine driving trip to Poland.)

Having reported that one Wolsztyn – Leszno steam turn survived last week’s cuts, today’s shock news is that steam haulage of the Leszno service has also been peremptorily cut. Last week’s ‘suspension’ generated an unprecedented storm of protest from many railway enthusiasts from all around the world, as well as very critical coverage in the Polish press. From reliable sources we have been given to understand that the Wolsztyn Depot has become a piece of ammunition in a battle between the local government transport department of Wielkopolska province and PKP Przewozy Regionalne, the State Railway’s long distance passenger services operator. Of course, no one will admit that this is the reason and so, although they are still arguing, the local authority and PKP did agree to put out a joint statement that the suspension of services is because steam locomotives are a fire hazard during the summer months.

When supporters of Wolsztyn Depot challenged this statement by asking how it was possible for steam services between Wolsztyn and Poznan to be a fire risk, if services between Wolsztyn and Leszno were not, the authorities responded by ordering steam haulage to be taken off the Leszno service as well!

As we publish this, Howard Jones was still hopeful that a last minute deal could be pulled through to save the Leszno service. Watch this space for news of further developments and our planned response.

This is another of those causes where we can help by putting pen to paper. Please write (polite letters only please) to the Chief Executive of Wielkopolska province pointing out the short-termism of his officials’ decisions and the damage that is doing to Wielkopolska’s and Poland’s credibility abroad. The address to write to is:

WPan Marek Wozniak
Marszalek Wojewodztwa Wielkopolskiego
Al. Niepodleglosci 18
Pokoj 142 Budynek C

61-713 Poznan


tel: (0048) 61 854-19-88, (0048) 61 857-18-47
fax: (0048) 61 854-17-17

Oh and do please send a copy of your letter, and any reply that you may receive, to us at the following e-mail address:

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  1. GavinW Says:

    Somebody REALLY needs to kick PKP up the proverbial as this is how they carry out ALL their business – like it is still a communist state. Hierarchy is ALL important in Polish buisiness and it is NOT the done thing to lose face and I suspect that all this is due entirely to that pig headed attitude from the top down. They just don’t get the bigger picture of the money that it brings in to Wolsztyn and the sooner they realise it the better. I know for a fact that one of the really good managers was moved out of the Poznan area simply as he was doing TOO good a job of drumming up new business and it was bad news for Wolsztyn when he moved as he was (and still is) a steam enthusiast – PKP needs more like him!!

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